Former coach gets 20 days in jail


A former assistant receivers coach at The Ohio State University was sentenced to 20 days in jail last week after being found guilty of violating a protection order in December.

Zachary E. Smith, 35, of Powell, appeared in Delaware Municipal Court Friday to be sentenced for a misdemeanor charge of violating a protection order, which stemmed from a May 2019 incident where Smith violated the protection order his ex-wife, Courtney, has against him.

Smith stood trial in November on the charge, but the jury was unable to render a verdict, so a hung jury was declared. At Smith’s second trial in December, a jury convicted him of the charge. He was represented by Columbus attorney Bradley P. Koffel.

On Friday, Delaware Municipal Court Judge Marianne Hemmeter sentenced Smith to 180 days in jail, a $750 fine, and three years of community control. Hemmeter credited Smith one day he spent in jail last year and suspended 160 days of the sentence.

Smith was in the Delaware County Jail Monday, where he is currently serving his sentence.

The charge in the case stems from an incident at Scioto Ridge Elementary School on May 9. Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, contacted police after Smith tried to take their two kids from the school but was stopped by school staff because it was not in compliance with court orders.

Court orders prevent Zachary Smith from being within 500 feet of Courtney Smith and requires all custody exchanges to happen at the Powell Police Department or under police supervision, records show.

Zachary Smith was arrested by Delaware County sheriff’s deputies and charged with violating a protection order. He pleaded “not guilty” the following morning in Delaware Municipal Court and was released on a personal recognizance bond.

This was not the first time Zachary Smith violated the court’s protection order. In May 2018, he was arrested when he went to Courtney Smith’s home to drop off their son, violating the protection order. He was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, and he eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct via intoxication and was ordered to pay a $150 fine.

The university fired Zachary Smith on July 23, 2018.

Last year, the Associated Press reported that Courtney Smith alleged that Zachary Smith shoved her against a wall and put his hands around her neck in 2015 during one of several domestic incidents. The AP reports the couple divorced in 2016.

Zachary Smith was never criminally charged with domestic violence, court records show.

In July 2018, then-Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer initially told reporters that he was unaware of the 2015 domestic violence allegations, but he later acknowledged that he was aware of them. Since then, Meyer has stated he handled the accusations properly when he learned of them at the time.

On Aug. 22, 2018, OSU announced that Meyer had been suspended for three games for mishandling the abuse allegations.


By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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